Heart Patch Mends Broken Hearts

A heart patch developed by scientists at the University of Toronto repairs damaged cardiac tissue.

Heart Patch, How it Works 

Cardiac tissues are severely damaged following an attack.  However, implanting patches on the heart surface can be tricky, as open surgery is risky for many patients after an attack. An alternative for doctors is to deliver cells using injections from specialized catheters. As a result, it must pass through a narrow needle without getting damaged. Not always the outcome.

Now, however, UT scientists have developed a biodegradable polymer patch that cardiac cells will easily grow on. Combined with regenerative cells, this patch repairs damaged cardiac tissue.

heart

 

The patch has a shape-memory and springs back to its original shape once it passes through the needle, leaving the regenerative cells undamaged. Cardiac function in sick rats improved with more blood pumping after being injected with this technique.

Here’s an up-close look at the patch:

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